WWDC 2023 Predictions and Wishlist

Let's talk about the rumours and speculation that surround the upcoming WWDC event, as I share my insights as an iOS developer for what could happen in the most significant Apple conference in recent memory.

WWDC 2023 Predictions and Wishlist
Photo by Carles Rabada / Unsplash


As an Apple developer by day, I'm brimming with excitement for this year's WWDC event. The keynote will take place on Monday, June 5 at 10 AM PT, and I'm optimistic that it will be chock-full of hardware announcements and potentially significant OS changes in the Apple Ecosystem(TM).

There's a buzz that this could be the most significant WWDC in the past few years. Usually, large hardware announcements aren't made at WWDC beyond general hints towards Apple's strategic goals, like when Apple hinted at moving to custom-built ARM processors in 2020. The actual hardware implementing the M1 was announced in a subsequent press conference..

This WWDC is also special to me as my co-worker was lucky enough to win the ticket lottery among Apple Developers and scored a ticket to see the conference in person! You can follow his adventures on the @memoryKPR Instagram page!

predictions / leaks

I try my hardest not to follow the WWDC / Apple keynote hype train too much. People often become overly excited about unconfirmed products/features and then are disappointed when their expectations aren't met or the announcements differ from predictions.

Despite this, I found it hard to resist the hype this year, particularly with all the buzz around the new mixed reality headset. So let's dive into what everyone else is expecting and predicting for this year.

new hardware

Render of how the Apple Mixed Reality Headset could look like
Render of the Apple Mixed Reality Headset (source: Future)

So, of course, there is new mixed reality headset. This has been in the rumour mill for the past 2-3 years now, but its looking like this will finally be the year that it’ll be announced. The headset might be beyond the budget of 90% of consumers, but I believe having a high-end, polished VR device released by Apple could help push the VR market forward. It would certainly be nice to see other companies challenging Meta's market dominance.

There's also talk of a new 15-inch MacBook Air. While this isn't a huge deal for me, I think it's great to have a larger "base" model Mac for users. This way, people won't have to shell out $2000-$3000 for one of the larger MacBook Pros.

Some people are even anticipating a refresh of the Mac Studio, possibly with the M2 Ultra? This would make sense, given that the Mac Studio is supposed to be the top-of-the-line Mac, but currently only houses the M1 Ultra, which falls short in single core performance compared to the M2.

os updates

As always, with every WWDC come new OS versions for all Apple Platforms. I suspect this year won't be as revolutionary as previous years; the focus will likely be more on bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements. However, there's one feature that could revolutionize how we use Apple devices in the future— more on that later.

iOS / iPadOS 17

As previously mentioned, it's rumoured that iOS 17 will be more of a polish and quality-of-life update, unlike iOS 16 which brought a totally redesigned lockscreen interface.

Rumoured features include a new journaling/daily activity tracking app, an updated control center interface, and interactive widgets.

However, the biggest change that is rumoured to come to Apple devices this year is the ability to sideload third-party apps. This would be a significant shift in how Apple manages its devices and how users leverage their capabilities. There's been mixed reactions to this rumoured feature, but I, for one, welcome this change. This shift is in response to an upcoming EU law— I hope this functionality extends to other countries soon 🤞.

watchOS 10

watchOS has remained largely unchanged over its past 9 versions. This year, rumours suggest new widgets and customization features may be introduced. Additionally, Apple may revamp the entire interface to make it more intuitive.

I primarily use my Apple Watch as a fitness tracker and secondary notification screen, so it would be great if this update could encourage me to utilize my watch more… and perhaps even tempt me to upgrade from my Series 4 🤷‍♂️.

my wishes

Now for the fun part! Here's a list of features I would love to see announced at WWDC 2023. These aren't based on any leaks or rumours— they're purely my personal dreams.

iPad stuff

I own a 12.9 inch iPad Pro with an M1 and the Magic Keyboard. This iPad is more powerful than the base model MacBook Air M1 I was using before, but the OS severely limits its potential as a desktop replacement device. Apple probably won’t allow macOS to run on the iPad (one can dream), but they might offer something that can mimic a similar experience.

During the announcement of the M1 chips, Apple promoted Virtualization as a transitional feature for moving from x86 to ARM64. I wonder if Apple would permit virtualization on M-series iPads to run macOS on iPadOS? It's a bit of a long shot, but up until iOS 16, Apple had the virtualization framework enabled in the iPad’s kernel. UTM was able to use this feature (with a partial jailbreak) to enable hardware-supported virtualization for operating systems. As demonstrated in the video below, this feature enables the virtualization of desktop-class operating systems at near-native performance. I'd love to see this become an actual feature.

Video of UTM utilizing hardware virtualization in iPadOS

Keeping with the theme of desktop-class iPadOS support, I would like to see a proper display configuration menu in iPadOS. I have an ultrawide monitor and my iPad + stage manage does not make use of the extra screen real estate. Everything is stretched and text is always blurry. A simple menu that allows monitor resolution and refresh rate changing would fix most of these issues.

mobile OS stuff

I would love to see the EU-only sideloading support get extended to be supported in the rest of the world. I know its a great start for to have the EU get sideloading support in general, but I’m impatient :)

mac stuff

Gaming on Macs is essentially non-existent, part of the reason of this is due Macs not supporting the Vulkan graphics framework. Graphics programming on Mac requires the developers to use Apple’s own Metal graphics library, due to the deprecation of the OpenGL implementation a few macOS versions ago.

The lack of having a Vulkan backend in macOS means that any developers have to port their game, not only to a new platform, but a new graphics backend— which could require a partial engine rewrite from the game developers. If Vulkan were supported, it would eliminate one hurdle for developers when porting their games to macOS.

With a Vulkan backend, work could be done also to the Proton library to get mac support? There would still be some arm transition issues, but it would be a good step in the right direction

the end

Thanks for reading, check back in later this week after the conference where I will summarize all the new features and analytize how they lined up with the predictions and my wish list!